Charlotte Goldeman, PhD student14. December 2017
Why did you become a scientist?
The unsolved mysteries of nature and the human body have always intrigued me. The fact that only 20 % of the brain is mapped and accounted for fascinates me. To have a chance to be one of the people to elucidate some of the functions and mechanisms of the brain is a fantastic opportunity and I wanted to be part of solving some of the big questions about the blood-brain barrier and drug transport across this barrier. The blood-brain barrier represents an enormous hurdle in development of drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, which motivates me to go into the laboratory.
Can you tell us about your career path to date?
I have a Bachelor’s - and Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. During my Bachelor I basically lived in the laboratory, learning how to make, develop and characterize drug formulations. During my Master’s, I specialized in the characterization of receptor systems expressed in the blood-brain barrier, which can be exploited as a potential route for drug delivery into the brain. After defending my master thesis I worked as a research assistant, where I focused on in vitro models of the blood brain barrier using human stem cells.
What are you working on at the moment?
As a PhD student, I am focusing on developing and characterizing in vitro models of the blood-brain barrier using human induced pluripotent stem cells. At present, in vitro blood-brain barrier research is largely restricted to cells of animal origin, however, due to species differences, data generated from these models can be difficult to extrapolate to humans. A human blood-brain barrier model is therefore highly sought by both academia and industry.
What are your research plans for the next five years?
Hopefully I will be able to successfully implement and use human induced pluripotent stem cells in in vitro modeling of the blood-brain barrier as well as establish a valid model for use in drug screening. When I finish my PhD I will hopefully be able to continue working within the field of brain research and drug development.
What do you do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I like to take care of my vegetable garden, and when the weather is horrible (which is often here in Denmark), I enjoy reading books. I just finished the Exorcist and plan to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula next.
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